Are implants permanent?
One of the most common ways that I have seen dental implants advertised are that they are “permanent”.
This is somewhat misleading, but I think it is important that “permanent” is well defined.
Dental implants are fixtures that are used to replace teeth. They are not removable – that is, you do not need to take them in and out, like you would with dentures. In that way, they are permanent, as in – they are “permanently” in and can not be easily removed.
But “permanent” can also mean that they last forever, and again this can be misleading.
Determining if dental implants are permanent
Dental implants are “permanent” for the vast majority of people. Failure rates over 10 years are frequently reported as 5% in the lower jaw or 10% for the upper jaw, and while this also means that the majority of people will never need their implants replaced in any way, for some, it will also mean that the implants are not permanent, in that the implants will fail and need to be replaced.
So to answer the question “Are implants permanent?”, it really depends upon how you define permanent. Yes, they are fixed in place. Yes, they can last the rest of your life. But you must also be aware that for a small proportion of people, they do not.